Almost July 4th 2023 on Sanibel

It is hard to believe that the July 4th holiday is in just a few days. It seemed to take forever for my home to be restored so I could move back on island, but now, a month later, days are flying by. Summer weather has arrived with most days in the low 90’s, evenings high 70’s, and 50% chance of showers each day. Photo here taken this afternoon at Tarpon Bay Explorers where leaves and new growth are busting out all over. Late afternoon shower arrived shortly after.

In my frequent drive-arounds, checking properties, I still am in awe of how many are being demolished or raised, while others have not been touched. Thankfully, most homes show evidence of restoration. There also was noticeably more activity at condo complexes this week. I also got my first call from a former owner looking for a 3-month home rental next winter. Those likely will be in-demand and hard to find, but the good news is that as more become available the rental organizations quickly are posting them on-line.

Last weekend, it was interesting to see that the public beach parking areas were mostly full, a good indication that day-trippers have returned to enjoy the gulf, shelling, and more. The few businesses open certainly appreciate their added business. I had another wonderful lunch with friends at Traders this week, while last week, a friend and I also enjoyed Doc Ford’s. Both of those spots are as friendly and consistent as ever. Outdoor gift markets also continue at the Rachel Pierce Gallery next door to Traders and in the east-end shopping center before the lighthouse. I also saw that She Sells SeaShells at 1157 Periwinkle reopened today.

Recent social media posts say that Tahitian Gardens shopping center may be opening soon. I think that means the new roof is almost done, as I saw many workers on the roof yesterday. Interior restorations probably come next.

Local rumor advises that more accommodations and businesses hope to reopen – some not until fall, most by winter. The SanibelSusan Team also continues to patiently await the completion of our office. Meanwhile, like many, we have become experts at working remotely.

All Sanibel Public-Access Beach Parking Lots Now Open

Yesterday, the city announced that the bayside lot at Lighthouse Beach Park (110-153 Periwinkle Way) and the Causeway Beach parking lot at 888 Sextant Dr (next to the boat ramp) were opening today. With these reopenings, all public-access beach park locations are now open. All require a beach parking permit or hourly paid parking. The fishing pier at Lighthouse Beach Park remains closed.

Click here for beach parking FAQ’s.

Click here for beach parking application.

Click here for information about the mobile beach parking system.

July 4th Happenings

Community Cookout Event – As recovery continues, no parade or fireworks are planned this year, but the Sanibel Rec Center is hosting a FREE community cookout event. Held at the Rec Center on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., it features games, magician, pool party, live music (11-1), stilt walker, facepainting, inflatable obstacle course, Hubbard Farm rescue animals, plus free hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, and ice cream.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – The Visitor, Education Center, and administrative offices will be closed on July 4. Wildlife Drive, its trails, restrooms, and Bailey Tract will be open.

43rd Annual Sanibel Road Rally – The tradition continues… now organized by the Friends of Randy of Sanibel, who took the event over from the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club. Basically, a scavenger hunt in a vehicle, it kicks off at noon July 4th in The Timbers Restaurant parking lot on Tarpon Bay Rd.  Registration is open to 25 vehicles. Teams are given questions, then set off across the islands to find as many correct answers as possible. Proceeds this year will benefit storm recovery of Sanibel American Legion Post 123. This is not a speed race, rather participants are provided with instructions and driving directions, and must find clues along the way. Each vehicle is given a start time and must be at the starting line at least 20 minutes before. When the rally kicks off, the first vehicle goes. Others follow in 2-minute increments. If spaces are still available on the 4th, on-site registration will open at 10 a.m. At the finish, teams will be ranked on points received for the most correct answers based on sights seen along the route, for a finish-time closest to the organization’s calculated time, and for distance driven closest to pre-determined route distance, plus points on bonus questions. It will take under two hours and finishes back at Timbers, where an afterglow party will be at The Sanibel Grill. Prizes will go to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams. Teams also are encouraged to decorate their vehicles to receive the Best Decorated prize. There will also be a 50/50 raffle. Entry fee is $50 and covers a vehicle, driver, navigator, unlimited crew and one event T-shirt. Additional shirts will be available for $20 each. To register, contact Randy Carson at or 239-699-8739 or Allen Dunham at or 239-699-9474. Registration forms are also available at Timbers. Residents and visitors are invited to participate. Don’t expect locals will win. SanibelSusan has participated in several of these rallies. The questions can be challenging and you don’t have to live here to know or find the answers.

More City Financial News

Governor DeSantis announced Tuesday that The City of Sanibel will receive a $13.1 million bridge loan for Hurricane Ian recovery. The funds will come from the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The money is intended to “bridge the gap” for local governments impacted by hurricanes Ian and Nicole. This award to Sanibel comes in addition to $25 million awarded to Lee County and $11.9 million awarded to the Town of Fort Myers Beach.

Island Critters

SCCF photo

Sea Turtles – On Wednesday, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) posted that “the first sea turtle hatchlings have emerged on Sanibel and Captiva! The first nest hatched on June 21, and several other nests have hatched since, with 387 hatchlings starting their journey into the Gulf of Mexico. “Our volunteers have been incredibly busy this year, and we are so grateful for the long hours they’re spending on the beach to protect our sea turtles,” said Sea Turtle Biologist Jack Brzoza. We are on track for a record-breaking nesting season, with more than 855 nests on Sanibel and Captiva so far this season, including 18 green sea turtle nests!”

SCCF photo

Indigo Snakes – Earlier this month, SCCF confirmed the first known sighting of an eastern indigo snake on the islands since Hurricane Ian. These rare snakes have rapidly declined over the decades and are listed as threatened in Florida and under the federal Endangered Species Act. Please report any indigo snake sightings with photos, of possible, to

Beach Bird Chicks – SCCF also reports that with July on the horizon, shorebird and seabird nesting season is starting to wind down. Most of the final renesting attempts will be occurring this month. On Sanibel and Captiva, there are snowy plover and least tern chicks of varying ages. SCCF also posted some characteristics to identify the age of the chicks.

After hatching, least tern checks appear sand-colored, speckled, and without visible wings or tails – looking very similar to the eggs from which they hatched. They are able to walk within hours of hatching but will stay in their nest for a few days. After two weeks, their down fluff is replaced with light brown or gray, scaly feathers, and they are more mobile, often venturing outside of posted nesting areas. Three to four weeks after hatching, least tern chicks are able to fly in short bursts, and their body shape more closely resembles that of an adult. At more than four weeks, juveniles can be distinguished from younger fledglings by the black stripe running through their eyes and around the back of their head. These juveniles also are identifiable by being more adept flyers. When these non-reproducing adult birds that fledged the year prior enter their 2nd year, they look like fledglings, but have smooth back feathers, and the black feathers around the eye to not extend to the bill. More a more detailed guide to least tern chick aging, click here.

Snowy plover chicks also start out sand-colored and speckled, but unlike least tern checks, they waste no time staying in the nest. They may be running about on their disproportionately long legs hours after they hatch. “This notable difference is because snowy plover chicks are precocial; they’re born in an advanced stage of development and are able to forage for their own food,” said Shorebird Technician Aaron White. “Least tern chicks are altricial, which means they still rely on their parents for food until they are able to fly and feed themselves.” After two weeks, snowy plover chicks are less “fuzzy” and “scruffier” as their primary feathers start to come in. They become more adventurous, leaving the dune habitat to explore the shoreline. After four to six weeks of development, the chicks look like slightly smaller, skinnier versions of their parents, minus the bold breeding plumage exhibited by mature adults. At this point, they are flight-capable and may be seen flying with their parents or siblings before venturing out on their own. For a more detailed guide to snowy plover chick aging, click here.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate

Below with data from the islands MLS (Multiple Listing Service) are updated summary tables of the residential sales statistics. After that is the action posted in the MLS since last Friday.

On the residential front, brisk home sales continue. On the commercial side, the property at 2365 Periwinkle Way, formerly Gene’s Books and before that MacIntosh, closed for $1,098,000.



# Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM
For sale 64 1,164,393 114 99 1,549,281 98 32 960,981 98
Under contract 8 1,100,975 63 33 1,413,630 74 6 1,149,500 33
Sold 2023 to 6/30 63 931,793 52 169 1,220,644 60 14 939,035 82
Sold 2022 123 1,136,199 44 185 1,602,745 52 26 779,528 223
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442




# Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM
For sale 15 1,367,060 78 10 5,952,900 83 1 15,500,000 461
Under contract 1 995,000 17 3 3,046,666 116 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2023 to 6/30 8 934,625 130 11 2,843,909 50 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2022 28 1,458,983 52 22 5,636,386 133 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021 64 1,150,373 145 44 2,988,520 261 2 2,950,000 731

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 23-30



2 new listings: Spanish Cay #C4 2/2 $520K, Pointe Santo #E42 2/2 $1.4M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 listed at $999K, Wedgewood #204 3/3.5 listed at $2.998M.

No closed sales.


6 new listings: 1835 Farm Tr 3/2 $875K, 4263 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $899K, 485 Peachtree Rd 3/3 $1.2M, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 $1.295M, 803 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $1.298M, 4797 Rue Helene 3/2 $1.348M.

6 back on market: 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 $699K, 586 Boulder Dr 3/2 $699K, 719 Nerita St 3/3 $735K, 9008 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 $1.149M, 1003 Fish Crow Rd 4/4 $1.4M, 1306 Par View Dr 3/3.5 $1.55M.

3 price changes: 4852 Rue Helene 2/2 now $675K, 4269 Gulf Pines Dr 2/2 now $849K, 1813 Long Point Ln 3/2.5 now $1.075M.

5 new sales: 1032 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $545K, 658 Donax St 3/2 listed at $699K, 683 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $799K, 1143 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $899K, 1550 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.499M.

5 closed sales: 1044 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $625K, 997 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $1.025M, 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $1.06M, 251 Christofer Ct 3/2.5 $1.1M, 1089 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 $1.135M.


1 new listing: 6068 Dinkins Lake Rd $629K

4 price changes: 2356 Wulfert Rd now $325K, 809 Pyrula Ave now $545K, 945 Pyrula Ave now $549K, 2807 West Gulf Dr now $1.095M.

3 new sales: 5116 Sea Bell Rd listed at $334K, 3649 West Gulf Dr listed at $3.995M.

No closed sales.



1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3123 1/1 $525K

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5208 1/2 now $610K

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 $465K.


1 new listing: 16979 Captiva Dr (multi-family) 7/7.5 $9.5M.

1 price change: 1101 Tallow Tree (1/2 duplex) 4/4 now $3.995M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $899K, 11401 Old Lodge Ln 2/3.5 $5.2M.


Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Enjoy your weekend & Happy 4th

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan